Two St Edmundbury Borough councillors have given a financial leg-up to a project to provide additional match-day facilities at Haverhill’s soon-to-be 3G football pitch at the New Croft.
John Burns and Tony Brown, who both represent the Haverhill East ward in which the New Croft sits, have given £1,500 and £500, respectively, from their locality grant allocations towards the project.
Cllr Brown said: “It’s on our patch. It’s a tremendous achievement that the lads have managed to do here to get a 3G pitch.
“Anything we can do to help out we will. It gives such a good facility for the people of Haverhill and my ward residents in particular.”
Full approval has now been given for a £300,000 bridging loan - matching the £300,000 already granted by the Football Foundation - from St Edmundbury Council towards the 3G floodlit pitch and dug outs at The New Croft (see page five for story).
The Haverhill Community Sports Association (HCSA) wants the pitch up and running in time for the start of the 2016/17 season in August, when it will not only become the home ground for Haverhill Borough but also be open to the wider sports community.
In order for it to meet FA ground grading requirements for the step six Thurlow Nunn League First Division that Borough competes in, a further £70,000 needs to be raised to provide a seated stand, a sheltered stand for non-seated spectators, a sheltered turnstile, safe walkway for players and match officials and a catering/hospitality facility.
HCSA needs to find £20,000 towards the cost and is in talks with a third party to secure more of that funding, with the Football Foundation due to make a decision on providing a grant for £50,000 in the second week of March.
Borough chairman, Ben Cowling said: “It allows us on a Saturday afternoon to play at the level we are playing at and to alleviate the use of the main pitch but through the week it benefits an entire community.”
Peter Betts, the HCSA facility manager and football development officer for Haverhill, who is managing the 3G pitch project added: “When it’s all done it’s a £700,000 facility for the whole community.”